Weird Crap That Freaks Amanda Out - Volume 1

Monday, February 15, 2010 - Posted by Amanda Bast
In today's installment of Weird Crap That Freaks Amanda Out (WCTFAO), we will be discussing Thrift and/or Antique Stores. This may seem a little odd, but I would like to remind you that this is called Weird Crap That Freaks Amanda Out, not Stuff That Freaks Out Quite A Few People, Not Just Amanda. So excuse me for being weird.

You might be saying, but Amanda, I know you love Value Village, and that is most definitely a thrift store. And you are right, I do love the Village of Value. For the most part. I must explain what kinds of stores I mean. These stores are usually found in bizarre and mostly sketchy locations (side roads in Bruce County or on Lancaster St in Kitchener). They are most likely tiny and very dusty. They are over crowed with things claiming to be antiques, but are nothing more than old dishes that you could find in your grandparents' basements. I really love old dishes, and I am thrilled that I inherited my grandmother's full set of fine china, and some of her crystal (lead! whoo!), but something just feels "off" to me if there are incomplete sets of numerous styles of dishes all mashed into one incoherent display. There is no continuity, just a mish mash of old crap that no one wants any more. Where are the rest of the dishes in the set? Did you break them all? Do you have a personal vendetta against that one lonely bread and butter plate? What did it ever do to you? For this reason, the dish and old-crap-that-no-one-wants-anymore section of Value Village freaks me out.

Stores that really freak me out usually have toys. Not new, fun toys, but old half-dead creepy toys. Like dolls with stained dresses and hair that was chopped off by some scissor happy four year old. They are those dolls that when you lay them down, their eyes close, but since they are so old, only one eye closes and the other one stays partially open just to look and you and be creepy. Honestly, who wants to buy an old doll that some strange child drooled on? To me it just feels like left over happy memories. No one wants the doll anymore. What happened to the original owner? Why don't they want their precious dolly anymore? And WHY oh WHY do they feel they need to try and sell it to an old person with an affinity for half-rotten old toys? Creepy, right?

Next, these stores have a distinctive odour to them. That old musty, moth ball-y gross smell. What IS that smell, and how come it all thrift/antique stores smell the same? I would like to know the answer to this question. Actually, maybe it would just be better to leave it a mystery. Maybe I'm weird, or maybe I'm just sensitive to smell.

Another characteristic of these stores is bound to make me look completely insane. This is something that I can't describe entirely, but I will try. When I walk in, I feel a little claustrophobic. I feel this eerie sense of...unfinished business? and it makes me want to pull up my shirt or scarf to cover the back of my exposed neck. I keep by hands folded tightly and drawn into my chest until the ordeal is over. Maybe it's because of all of the dirt, maybe it's because it's full of other peoples stuff...left over and discarded. Creepy, I tell you. Mighty creepy.

I love old things, I really do. I also love stumbling across something really unique and unusual. Much to my dismay, this event is likely to occur in some of these creepy stores. So for the most part, I think I can bear the creep-factor. That about concludes the first volume of WCTFAO. I realize that I may appear to be completely deranged, but I'm ok with that. Leave a comment if you feel the same. I hope you'll still be my friend.